A dark plot against Abhisit and the Asean Plus Three Summit

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The Red Shirts protesters easily break into the venue of the Asean Plus Three Summit at Royal Cliff Hotel and Resort in Pattaya, with little resistance from the security forces.

15:12 hours

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The Asean Plus Three Summit, scheduled to be officially held today in Pattaya, has been cancelled after the Red Shirt protesters, led by Arisman Pongruangrong, succeeded in breaking into the venue at Royal Cliff Resort and Hotel. Arisman is a key man of the Red Shirts and a member of the Thai Rak Thai from the outset.

His Red Shirt protesters could break into the Royal Cliff, which is situated at the far pocketed end of South Pattaya, because the police and the military were standing idle. The police and the military were acting in a pak wa ta khayip way (say one thing but gesture another thing) to let the Red Shirt protesters storm the venue and prevent the Asean Plus Three Summit from taking place altogether.

The damage to Thailand is incalculable. The damage to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is also irreparable.

You may count the days of Abhisit Vejjajiva as prime minister now.

My previous assumption that the Red Shirt protesters would fade out before Songkran Day had missed the target because the rallies could hardly last beyond the Songkran Festival when most Thais had to return home for the New Year Holiday. Then it would be difficult to regroup the Red Shirts again after Songkran.

I did not expect that the Red Shirt protesters and their masterminds would dare to destroy Thailand by ambushing the Asean Summit leaders, who altogether are global economic powers. The leaders’ security is of utmost important. But the Red Shirt protesters and their masterminds have dared to used the security of the foreign leaders as the bargaining chip or a ploy to achieve their political ends. Such short-sighted ploy!!!

After failing with the false assassination plot against Chanchai Likhitjitha, a member of the Privy Council, the Red Shirt strategy could only move on a bigger arena by bringing the Asean Plus Three Summit into the equation. If the Red Shirt masterminds could wreak havoc the Asean Plus Three Summit, they could render Abhisit obsolete.

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Red Shirt protesters declare victory once they are inside the Royal Cliff.

Abhisit’s embryonic leadership would be called into question. He is not in charge because he could not provide security to the foreign leaders. So Abhisit has to go.

That’s all about it. Thai politics is childish and silly, bordering on the nihilistic absurdity.

This Asean Summit Plus Three debacle could not happen without a defector. The Democrats have a rotten fish inside the party. This rotten fish is part of the Red Shirt operation run by we-all-know-who-phones-in-from-abroad.

Abhisit has enjoyed a rather good start. He chaired the Asean Summit in Hua Hin. He went on cement ties with the UK by meeting Gordon Brown in London. He joined the G-20 Summit leaders in London shortly afterward to air out Asean’s stand on the global financial crisis. Back to Thailand, he is now preparing to chair the Asean Plus Three Summit in Pattaya. This event was postponed from December last year and is now being postponed again.

I doubt the Asean Plus Three leaders would like to return to Thailand again because they have been held hostage by the Red Shirt protesters blocking their paths. The Japanese have been most sensitive with the security of their leader. Earlier when they learned that the Thai authorities would like to organise the Asean Plus Three Summit in Phuket, the Japanese were not happy. Since Phuket is an island, it would be rather difficult to move the Japanese leadership including more than 100 press members out of Phuket in the event of an airport ambush by the Red Shirt protesters.

The Japanese authorities were more comfortable with the Pattaya venue. Using Bangkok as the venue was out of the question because the Red Shirt protesters would be sealing the Government House and any major venues in the five-start hotels or convention halls.

Still, hell in Pattaya broke loose. The plane carrying Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had yet to land in Thailand when it had to be diverted back because of the cancellation of the Asean Plus Three Summit.

The Red Shirts really would like the Yellow Shirts to come out for a final dual or a classic Civil War. They all want to create a bloody situation that would lead to a coup.

Already, the Blue Shirts have formed in Pattaya trying in vain to block the Red Shirts and save the Asean Plus Three Summit. We don’t know who they are. The Yellow Shirts are watching with anxiety.

It is now clear that the police have sided with the Red Shirts. The military is divided.

Abhisit has declared a State of Emergency over Pattaya and Chon Buri — exactly a replay of the Samak government and the Somchai Government, who declared a futile State of Emergency around Bangkok and the airports respectively.

Now the Red Shirts protesters are heading back to consolidate their position at the Government House. There won’t be a soul of the Red Shirts there. So the State of Emergency is bound to be a joke.

Rumours have it that the coalition partners might want Abhisit out soon. The candidate to replace Abhisit is Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the interior minister. The Phumjai Thai Party under Newin Chidchob now backs Gen Prawit.

We shall see how the Democrats will nagivate out of this turmoil. Can Abhisit hang on his premiership since the people around him and very close to him have already picked up their knieves?

We shall see#####################

17.15 hours:

Ummmmmmmmmmmm..It has been a perfected orchestration. Police Chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan was no where to be seen during the Red Shirt ambush of the Royal Cliff, the venue of the Asean Plus Three Summit. Neither Gen Anupong Paochinda, the army chief, could be seen. Where were they?

The role of Suthep Thuagsuban, as deputy prime minister in charge of security affairs, was also highly suspicious.

How was it possible that we were about to host the Asean Plus Three Summit, at which people around the world would be following closely like the G-20 Summit in London, but there was a breakdown in security measures to protect the summit leaders?

Yes, the buck stops at Abhisit as prime minister. But like Somchai or Samak, his predecessors, Abhisit has no control over the police and the military. Thailand’s top security officials were playing the do-nothing game or the pak wa ta khayip game to support the Red Shirts .

Abhisit has been caught in the same movie script with Samak and Somchai. Only the dates and the venues have been changed. For Samak, it was the Government House against the Yellow Shirts. For Somchai, it was the Suvarnabhumi Airport against the Yellow Shirts. For Abhisit, it was the Asean Plus Three Summit in Pattaya against the Red Shirts.

All the while, the police and the military have been playing the musical chairs behind the scenes.

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Here are my crystal ball predictions:

1. The Democrats will break apart after this episode.

2. Tonight there should not be any big violent as feared because the Red Shirts have succeeded in torpedoing the Pattaya Summit.

3. There might be military reshuffle within this month.

4. It will be Thailand’s hottest Songkran ever. 

5. Abhisit’s leadership is hanging by the thread. Democrats are being isolated.

6. Mr Phone-In has further narrowed the base of his international support from this event.

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Thanong Khanthong/  Thai Talk

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